The oblast is crossed by the Volga River. Apart from Nizhny Novgorod's metropolitan area (including Dzerzhinsk, Bor and Kstovo) the biggest city is Arzamas. Near the town of Sarov there is the Serafimo-Diveyevsky Monastery, one of the largest convents in Russia, established by Saint Seraphim of Sarov. The Makaryev Monastery opposite of the town of Lyskovo used to be the location of the largest fair in Eastern Europe. Other historic towns include Gorodets and Balakhna, located on the Volga to the north from Nizhny Novgorod.
The oblast covers an area of 76,900 square kilometers (29,700 sq mi), which is approximately equal to the entire area of the Benelux countries or Czech Republic. Agricultural land occupies 41% of this area; forests, 48%, lakes and rivers, 2%; and other lands, 9%. Nizhny Novgorod Oblast borders Kostroma Oblast (N), Kirov Oblast (NE), the Mari El Republic (E), the Chuvash Republic (E), the Republic of Mordovia (S), Ryazan Oblast (SW), Vladimir Oblast (W), and Ivanovo Oblast (NW).
Nizhny Novgorod Oblast is not rich in natural resources, which are limited to commercial deposits of sand (including titanium-zirconium sands), clay, gypsum, peat, mineral salt, and timber.
During the Soviet period, the high authority in the oblast was shared between three persons: the first secretary of the Nizhny Novgorod (then Gorki) CPSU Committee (who in reality had the greatest authority); the chairman of the oblast Soviet (legislative power); and the chairman of the oblast Executive Committee (executive power). After 1991, the CPSU lost all its power. The head of the Oblast administration, and eventually the governor, was appointed/elected alongside the elected regional parliament.
The Charter of Nizhny Novgorod Oblast is the fundamental law of the region. The Legislative Assembly of Nizhny Novgorod Oblast is the province's standing legislative (representative) body. The Legislative Assembly exercises its authority by passing laws, resolutions, and other legal acts and by supervising the implementation and observance of the laws and other legal acts passed by it. The highest executive body is the Oblast Government, which includes territorial executive bodies such as district administrations, committees, and commissions that facilitate development and run the day to day matters of the province. The Oblast administration supports the activities of the Governor who is the highest official and acts as guarantor of the observance of the oblast Charter in accordance with the Constitution of Russia.
The unique architectural construction—the 128-meter (420 ft) steel lattice hyperboloid tower built by the Russian engineer and scientist Vladimir Grigorievich Shukhov in 1929—is located near the town of Dzerzhinsk on the left bank of the Oka River.
Population: 3,310,597 (2010 Census); 3,524,028 (2002 Census); 3,714,322 (1989 Census).
According to the 2010 Census, ethnic Russians at 3,109,661 made up 95.1% of the oblast's population. Other ethnic groups included Tatars (44,103, or 1.4%), Mordva (19,138, or 0.6%), Ukrainians (17,657, or 0.5%), and various smaller groups, each accounting for less than 0.5% of the total. Additionally, 42,349 people were registered from administrative databases, and could not declare an ethnicity. It is estimated that the proportion of ethnicities in this group is the same as that of the declared group.Births (2011): 36,315 (11.0 per 1000)
Deaths (2011): 54,184 (16.4 per 1000)
Deaths decreased by 8.5% in 2011 compared to 2010.Vital statistics for 2012
Births: 38,881 (11.8 per 1000)
Deaths: 52,771 (16.0 per 1000)
Total fertility rate:
2009 - 1.43 | 2010 - 1.42 | 2011 - 1.44 | 2012 - 1.55 | 2013 - 1.56 | 2014 - 1.59 | 2015 - 1.67 | 2016 - 1.65(e)
According to the Federal Migration Service, 20,450 foreign citizens were registered in the oblast in 2006. The actual number of foreigners residing in the oblast as of June 1, 2006 was estimated to be over 22,000.
The oblast ranks seventh in Russia in industrial output. Processing industries predominate in the local economy. More than 650 industrial companies employ nearly 700,000 people, or 62% of the workforce involved in material production. Industry generates 83% of the regional GDP and accounts for 89% of all material expenditures. The leading sectors are engineering and metalworking, followed by chemical and petrochemical industries and forestry, woodworking, and paper industries. The first three sectors account for about 75% of all industrial production.
The oblast has traditionally been attractive to investors. In 2002, Moody's rating agency confirmed a Caa1rating based on the region's long-term foreign currency liabilities.
The region maintains trade relations with many countries and has an export surplus. The largest volume of exports goes to Ukraine, Belarus, Switzerland, Kazakhstan, Belgium, and France. Imports come mainly from Ukraine, Germany, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Austria, Netherlands, China, and the United States.
The stock market infrastructure is quite well developed in Nizhny Novgorod, and the exchange business is expanding. Companies and organizations registered in the region include 1153 joint-stock companies, 63 investment institutions, 34 commercial banks, 35 insurance companies, 1 voucher investment fund, 1 investment fund, 17 nongovernmental pension funds, 2 associations of professional stock market dealers, and 3 exchanges (stock, currency, and agricultural). The oblast is noted for having relatively highly developed market relations. Today, the region needs serious partners interested in equitable, long-term, mutually beneficial partnerships.
There are 650+ industrial companies in the region, most of them engaged in the following sectors:Machine-building and engineering
Chemical & petrochemical
Fuel & energy
Ferrous and non-ferrous metallurgy
Wood and paper
Food & food processing
Medical & pharmaceuticals
Printing & publishing.
These key industries are supplemented by other sectors of the economy such as agriculture, trade, services, communications and transport.The Altsevo peat narrow gauge railway is located in the work settlement of Pizhma
The narrow gauge railway of Caprolactam factory is located in Dzerzhinsk
The Kerzhenets peat narrow gauge railway is located in the Borsky District
The narrow gauge railway of Decor-1 factory is located in the Arzamassky District
Narrow gauge railways in the region:
According to a 2012 survey 69.2% of the population of Nizhny Novgorod Oblast adheres to the Russian Orthodox Church, 2% are unaffiliated generic Christians, 2% are Orthodox Christian believers without belonging to any church or members of other Orthodox churches, and 1% are adherents of the Slavic native faith (Rodnovery). In addition, 15% of the population declares to be "spiritual but not religious", 10% is atheist, and 0.8% follows other religions or did not give an answer to the question.